The last week of April involved a car trip down to a forest in deepest Dorset. To see a man about a dog, well a puppy to be correct. My partner and I had been thinking about a 4-legged walking / running companion for a very long time and the time was now right.
Dorset Border Collie
A few hours drive later saw our 8 week old beautiful Border Collie puppy arrive in his new home. It didn’t take long for the inquisitive little fellow to discover my old walking boots!
He’s had his first check up at the local vets and received a glowing report – fit, healthy and very alert. Hence the perky ears. We’ve been training him in the basics of living with hikers / runners; do not eat the boots or the boot laces.
House Trained at 8 Weeks
I wasn’t sure how puppy would adapt to life in his new home but much to my amazement he is fully house trained at 8 weeks old. I can’t take all the credit as he is probably following a pattern of behaviour set by his parents but we can manage nearly 7 hours sleep without any “accidents”.
Crate Training Our Border Collie
This is day 2 of our Border Collie puppy spending time in his new adult size crate, 42 inch diagonal width. He took to the crate really well, only a few whimpers when the door shuts because he wants to keep playing. I placed his bed and toys inside 2 days ago and he walks in and out without any fear or apprehension.
I now need to work on getting him to “go to bed” on command, the next challenge. Positive reinforcement working really well. Of course if he does wet the floor overnight, I just say nothing, take him outside and when he goes to the toilet outside make a big positive fuss.
It’s taken around 2 days for him to learn that going to the toilet outside means lots of praise and inside means nothing (not good or bad) so as he loves the praise, outside is where he goes.
As the video above shows, I started by leaving the door of his crate wide open all day and night. Allowing him to wander in and out but his bed was always kept in the crate. After less than one day he was already sleeping in his crate (with the door wide open) and playing with his toys in it.
Make his crate his safe place. He will enjoy his time in it and training will be much easier.
So now at day 3 of crate training I’m starting to close and latch the door of his crate for short periods of time. Initially with me sitting quietly in the same room and then with me upstairs but where I can listen out for him. He has fresh water and of course his bed and toys. Just 10-20 minutes at a time with the door shut. No fuss, no drama.
I’ll keep this blog updated with new photos and videos of his progress. Looking forward to a wonderful 2016 hiking companion up on the South Downs Way.